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IMD Forecasts A Normal Monsoon For 2017 At 96 Percent

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has projected normal monsoon rains in the country during the June-to-September southwest monsoon season.

The prognosis, if holds true, will boost rural demand and also alleviate rural distress, especially in states such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu which are reeling under the impact of drought.

Rainfall will be 96% of the long-period average (LPA) with a 38% probability of normal monsoon, said K.J. Ramesh, director general of IMD.

He added that rains would be evenly distributed across the country.

The IMD attributed the projection to a weakening of El Niño and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) turning positive.

Both factors are seen combining to boost the southwest monsoon, though doubts linger over the intensity of the rains.

The IMD predicted a 38 per cent chance of near-normal showers.

The forecast has a model error of five per cent.

The IMD, which released its initial forecast for the four-month monsoon season, also said preliminary indications showed this year’s rains would be well distributed.

Detailed forecasts on regional distribution will be made in early June, by when more information on El Niño and the IOD is available.

Though the impact of agriculture on the economy has come down over the years, it still is an important factor to the rural economy and its cascading effect on India Inc’s balance sheet.

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